7036269409 John@john-michael.net

Tag: Pershing’s Own

Map of Fort Myer

Fort Myer Historical

A 1972 TOUR OF FORT MYER – PART II

Posted By John Michael

SELECT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1972 DISCOVERED (continued)

  In Part I of this 1972 Tour of Fort Myer, several newly discovered images were presented.   Here in Part II, several more of that cache of photographs from 1972 are presented below.   As mentioned in Part I, when exploring America's attic, the findings can sometimes be surprising.
Fort-Myer-Photos-1972-13
Quarters 6 on Generals' Row - Grant Avenue
One of the several homes on Grant Avenue, also known as "Generals' Row"  It once was the quarters of General George S. Patton Jr.  Whipple Field is not too too far away (it's across the street!) That's where the Civil War era fortification "Fort Whipple" was located.  One of two of the nearly 70 fortifications located within the acres of present day Historic Fort Myer - the other was Fort Cass which were part of the Defenses of Washington
Fort-Myer-Photos-1972-12
Building #59 - Post HQ previously the Post Hospital
Some nearly turn of the century building that contained the Post hospital (It was where Orville Wright and Lieutenant Selfridge were taken in SEP 1908 after the Wright Flyer crashed during a test flight on Fort Myer) In later years, the hospital was closed and the building became Post Headquarters where the command staff is located.
Fort-Myer-Photos-1972-10
Caisson Platoon Stables - McKinney Stables
At one period of time, Fort Myer was a showcase for the US Cavalry.  With about 1,500 horses which were serving the field artillery and the cavalry, there were many more stables on post.  That all changed in February 1942 when the 3d Cavalry - "The Brave Rifles"  relinquished their mounts and were shipped south to get mechanized.  The Army's Remount Service only lasted until 1948 when all the depots,  including the one at Front Royal, Virginia were turned over to the US Department of Agriculture. Many of the stables on post were re-purposed or in the case of those used by the field artillery units, were torn down - their gun sheds also were scrapped.   The stable in the photo is the McKinney Stable where the Old Guard's Caisson Platoon spends most of their waking hours tending to the horses that provide the transport of the veterans in Arlington National Cemetery. Other stables to the north of this one have been repurposed - one is the home of the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.  Down below Whipple Field are several other stables which were used by the Buffalo Soldiers while they were stationed at Fort Myer.  Both the 9th and 10th Cavalry were stationed at the Post.
Fort-Myer-Photos-1972-09
Comny Hall - Once the Riding Hall
Comny Hall, named for COL Joseph B. Conmy Jr. who commanded the 3d Infantry - "The Old Guard" in 1962.  Back in the day, when Fort Myer was a Cavalry Showcase, this was the riding arena where the troopers kept their skills sharp during the winter months.  The hall, with it's floor of ground also provided the location where the Society Circus was held to entertain those from the city of Washington and surrounds. After the cavalry left in 1942, the building was repurposed and over time became the location where ceremonies would be held -  retirements, changes of command / responsibility and even events such as Twilight Tattoo, Prelude to Taps and even Spirit of America. Since 1948 when the 3d Infantry was re-activated and the regiment became a "permanent resident" of the Post, their soldiers in concert with the US Army Band - "Pershing's Own" provided all the ceremonial troops for the events.
Fort-Myer-Photos-1972-08-
The original commissary buildings in 1972
COMMISSARY - these buildings back in 1972 is where the Soldiers and their families came to shop for their provisions.  It was before the current commissary was built near the southwest corner of the Post.  These buildings are now used for other purposes such as the Post thrift shop.

BUY THE BOOK

If you've enjoyed this small glimpse of Fort Myer, then perhaps you should BUY THE BOOK.  An author autographed copy is available here on this website. Coming next  A 1972 Tour of Fort Myer - Part III Or a look back at A 1972 Tour of Fort Myer - Part i            
Read More
Fort Whipple - the Commanding Officer's Quarters

Historical

Happy Birthday Fort Myer – Defending the Capital for 150 Years

Posted By John Michael

Headquarters - Fort MyerBeginning as Fort Whipple in 1863 as one of the Defenses of Washington, Fort Myer continues today in its original mission of defending Washington DC. Fort Marcy may have a sign on the George Washington Parkway... Fort Stevens has been partially reconstructed and preserved as is Fort Ward. But ONLY Fort Myer continues to defend with the celebrated Oldest Infantry Regiment in the US Army - the 3d --- The Old Guard. The acres have changed much in those century and a half. The drill field where hundreds of horses with mounted riders rode, kicking up dust or where the Wright Flyer flew overhead, the rustic trails where the troopers practiced their saber charge and trenches were dug to train for WW I and later where the Jeep from Bantam Car Company was tested and approved, are gone. Where Rodney retired and a tribute to the US Army Remount Service was made with the movie "Keep 'Em Rolling" - The first commercial movie filmed on Fort Myer, including the first instance of "caisson drag racing" on the drill field. Chapel on South PostSouth Post - Fort Myer where during WW II nearly 2000 WACs (Women's Army Corps) lived and a complement of Soldiers who worked in the newly built Pentagon. Also the site of the "Troop Chapel" dedicated by Chief of Staff George Marshall - and then was duplicated 500 times across the US Army. The Military Police school called South Post home from the beginning. US Army units that have called Fort Myer home have included numerous Cavalry Regiments - Capped off by the 3d - "Brave Rifles" and squadrons of the 9th and 10th - The "Buffalo Soldiers". Home to the Signal Corps School where General Albert J Myer continued the use of the acres after the Civil War was over to teach the wig-wag system of signaling as well as the heliograph. The National Weather Service was born and developed on these historic acres with the needs promoting the exploration into aerial flight. Alexander Graham Bell's invention saw its first use among the US Army Signal Corps as the first long distance line ran between Fort Myer and their headquarters across the Potomac in Washington. The mark of Patton ... among each of his tours on Fort Myer,  General George S. Patton, Jr., he left an imprint that affected the US Army The Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer Virginiaand or the Post, from the Society Circus, to the iconic "Old Post Chapel"  - the design borrowed by the US Navy.   Patton Hall, known to most as "the O Club" is a standing tribute recognizing his contributions to Fort Myer. Even the US Navy left an imprint upon the acres when it erected the first radio towers, "The Three Sisters" which enabled communication with the fleet and capability to communicate with Europe and across the United States. Fort Myer is home to the US Army Band "Pershing's Own" since the 1940s.  The other long time resident unit is the 3d Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard".   Together. they form a partnership to perform all the ceremonial duties and events within the National Capital Region - the most honorable among those duties and events is the support for the final honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Whipple, Myer, Patton, Marshall, Pershing are only a few of the names that are among those who over the years set their mark on the Arlington Heights acres.

Happy Birthday Fort Myer!

PS ...  You too can own an autographed copy of the book "Images of America - Fort Myer" ... The First Book About this Historic US Army Post.  It contains over 200 "timeless historic photographs" which chronicle the first 100 years of the Post.Made in the United States of America

Read More
Virginia Festival of the Book 2012

News

Virginia Festival of the Book

Posted By John Michael

Virginia Festival of the Book 2012DATELINE - Charlottesville Virginia: "Images of America - Fort Myer" has been selected as one of the books to be featured at this annual March 2012 event. From a field of nearly 1,000 books submitted, it was selected. Author John Michael will be onsite to present and discuss his ground-breaking first book about this unique US Army Post with origins during the US Civil War as part of the Defenses of Washington, when it was named Fort Whipple Fort Whipple was built in JUNE 1863 on Arlington Heights, Virginia within the acreage that was the Custis-Lee estate.   It was in honor of General Amiel Weeks Whipple who was the commander of the Defenses of Washington's southern fortifications, who used Arlington House as his headquarters. The Post was later renamed Fort Myer to eliminate the confusion with the other Fort Whipple located in Arizona and to honor General Albert J. Myer, the US Army's first Signal Officer who located the US Army's Signal Corps School on the acres. Home to the US Army's two elite units: The US Army Band - "Pershing's Own" and "The Old Guard - 3d Infantry Regiment of the US Army,  Fort Myer continues to provide defense of Washington DC - the Capital of the United States of America. More information about the event and times and locations within Charlottesville is at Virginia Festival of the Book 2012
Read More
US Army 3d Infantry Regimental Coat of Arms

Events Historical

Sixty Three Years Ago

Posted By John Michael

US Army 3d Infantry Regimental Coat of Arms The date 06 APRIL is a significant milestone in Fort Myer history, for it was on that day in 1948 that one of the most historic and oldest infantry regiments within the US Army would be re-activated after World War II and call this historic US Army Post home.  The regiment, like many after World War II, was inactivated, however there was a major need  for a unit to provide for the defense of the National Capital of Washington DC while also providing  ceremonial support.  Military District of Washington did have a cermonial company to provide for ceremonial company that did ceremonies.  So when the US Army's  3d Infantry Regiment was reactivated, they were included within the regiment. The 3d Infanry of the US Army, also known as The Old Guard, a name given to them by General Winfield Scott can trace its beginnings to the United States revolution with the date of its origination of JUNE 1784.  From the start, the regiment has served and fought valiantly to protect and defend the United States. Since its beginnings, the 3d has fought in
  • War of 1812
  • Mexican-American War 
  • American Civil War 
  • Indian Wars
  • Spanish-American War
  • Philippine-American War
  •  World War II  
  • Vietnam
  •  Iraq War
So it was 06 APR 1948 when the US Army 3d Infantry Regiment was reactivated on the steps of the US Capitol and then took up home at Fort Myer.  Known also as "The Escort to the President" - The Old Guard is the primaryunit within Presidential Inaugurations and state funerals.

Nostalgic Video

The video below, courtesy of the US Army, provides an historic look back in time to about 1955.  Accompanied by the US Army Band - "Pershing's Own", it shows the dual mission which the Old Guard continues until today.
Within Arlington National Cemetery, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded day and night all year round by Sentinels who are carefully selected and trained as Tomb Guards from this regiment.  Over the years, the regiment has added several distinguished specialty platoons / companies to address the ceremonial needs of the Military District of Washington and the US Army.  These include:
  • The Presidential Salute Battery
  • The Caisson Platoon
  • The Continental Color Guard
  • The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
  • The US Army Drill  Team
  • The Commander-in-Chief's Guard
In the book "Images of America - Fort Myer"  many historic photographs of the 3d Infantry Regiment are displayed along with many more about Fort Myer.   

Note:  06 APRIL was officially designated as Army Day by Congress.  The last one that was celebrated nationally was in 1949.

Please feel free to comment and share.

Read More
Pershing's Own - The US Army Band

Fort Myer Historical

The US Army Band Comes to Fort Myer

Posted By John Michael

Organized at Fort Hunt Virginia

Known as "Pershing's Own" - The US Army Band was organized at Fort Hunt, Virginia on 25 JAN 1922 as The Army Band and later moved to the District of Columbia's oldest military installation Fort Lesley J  McNair (The fort  began as arsenal in the 1790s with defenses built in 1794). Fort McNair is also the third oldest US Army post - only West Point and Carlisle Barracks are older. When the 3d Cavalry, which had been at Fort Myer from after WW I until the beginnings of WW II moved from Fort Myer, their "mounted band" went with the regiment.  There was a need for ceremonial support within Arlington National Cemetery and  the US Army Band was called upon to provide it.

Ceremonial Band Needed at Arlington National Cemetery

Initially, musicians were transported to and from Fort Myer from Fort McNair and eventually a "funeral band' was organized on Fort Myer as an extension of the US Army Band.    It was during WW II  - June 1943, the band at Fort McNair was deployed to both North Africa and Europe.  Upon its return from the War,  Fort Myer became its home ever since.   For its efforts while deployed, it received a campaign streamer. Among the over 200 historic photographs within the book "Images of America - Fort Myer"  the US Army Band is presented among other units, people, and events which helped to mold Fort Myer into the active duty US Army Post it has become...  Home of "Pershing's Own" and "The Old Guard"
Read More
Images of America - Fort Myer

Uncategorized

Fort Myer Firsts

Posted By John Michael

The Remaining US Civil War Era Post

It sits on Arlington Heights overlooking Washington DC and has seen its share of firsts since 1863 when it was first built as Fort Whipple.  It was among the 70 fortifications surrounding the National Capital during the US Civil War, but unlike the rest which fell into disrepair and were abandoned,  Fort Myer continues until this day (though they've hidden the name slightly - it'll always be Fort Myer because of its significance and contributions.) Some of the early firsts that this US Army Post holds are: Over time, the significance of Fort Myer has grown.  With its elite troops - the 3d Infantry of the US Army  - "The Old Guard" and the musical talent of the US Army Band "Pershing's Own -  within, it continues to stand ready to defend the Nation's Capital while providing an outstanding place to receive  and honor visiting dignitaries.

Over Two Years In Research

Images of America - Fort Myer FirstsThe book "Images of America - Fort Myer" highlights these and others in a combination of historical photographs, maps, and notes with revealing captions.  The outstanding nugget is a first-time published note from Abraham Lincoln which no one knew existed.  Browse through the website and learn of some of the history - the people, the events, the places and enjoy.    

BUY THE BOOK

Images of America - Fort Myer is a pictorial chronicle of the first one hundred years of history containing over two hundred photographs, maps, and images.  Beginning in the 1860s and carrying through the 1960s it provides a view of what was over time.  An autographed copy of the book can be purchased at BUY THE BOOK.
Read More
Arlington House - Custis Lee Mansion

Historical

The Custis-Lee Estate

Posted By John Michael

The Custis-Lee Estate consisted of 1,100 acres of land which from the high ground, one has a panoramic view of the nation's Capital.   That still is the Arlington House - Custis Lee Mansioncase when one stands in front of Arlington House, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion or on what is currently  Whipple Field within present day Fort Myer it was the site of Fort Whipple.  According to sources, the high ground originally consisted of orchards. Those 1,100 acres also contained some great flatland near the Potomac River where the Custis-Lee's farmed growing crops for use within the estate and to sell in the neighboring City of Alexandria and markets within Washington DC. The book "Images of America - Fort Myer" contains over 200 historic photographs that provide an insight to this outstanding US Army Post with orgins from the Custis-Lee estate built during the US Civil War and first known as Fort Whipple. Please sign up below to get announcements of more in-depth views and insights about Historic Fort Myer, Virginia
Read More
Major General Albert J. Myer

Commentary

Fort Myer – Virginia…

Posted By John Michael

Major General Albert J. Myer
MG Albert J. Myer
When most people hear the name Fort Myer, they don't think Virginia, but a place much further south in the United States.   The other location is an attractive place for tourism and nearby beaches with palm trees on the Gulf of Mexico.   This other location WAS an US Army Fort built in 1850 as a military fort in response to Seminole Indians that were in conflict with the area's few settlers. So the confusion continues... perhaps once people begin reading the book "Images of America - Fort Myer" they'll get a better understanding that Fort Myer is in Virginia   (first named Fort Whipple during the US Civil War) and is home to the US Army Band - "Pershing's Own", the US Army's 3d Infantry Regiment - "The Old Guard". The fort  is located right next to Arlington National Cemetery.  It was named after General Albert J. Myer, the US Army's first Signal Officer, the inventor of the wig-wag signaling method  (the insignia of the US Army Signal Corps are a pair of crossed Wig-Wag Flags), who also started the National Weather Service. Today, Fort Myer, Virginia with over a century of service to the United States of America is as an outstanding US Army Post, defending the Nation's Capital - Washington, DC with origins during the US Civil War.   Many more events and people who were stationed there have had major influences on the United States and the world. Please sign up for more- info, history and announcements ...  see the form on this page.  You can also buy the book,  "Images of America - Fort Myer"
Read More